Fully-fit Govers back for Kookas

HOCKEY

Months of hobbling along the long, hard road to rehabilitation proved to be worth it former Albion Park junior Kieran Govers.

Yesterday, he was named in the Kookaburras’ World League finals squad.

Govers suffered a badly torn hamstring in Australia’s qualifying campaign in June and has  been running again for only six weeks. 

Coach Ric Charlesworth kept the faith in the London Olympian, picking him in an 18-man squad to compete in Delhi in the finals series which starts on January 10.

Fellow Illawarra junior and housemate at the Kookaburras base in Perth, Tristan White continued his remarkable rise with selection in the squad.

‘‘It’s been a hard road,’’ Govers said on Monday.

‘‘You second- guess yourself a bit with the rehab but it’s all worked out. I’ve had time to overcome the wrist and hernia problems I’ve had so I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.’’

Govers and White were relaxing on a Perth beach when they found out about their selection by email on their phone.

‘‘You hope you make it back into these squads but you could easily be told you’re being rested for later in the year, so I’m pretty stoked to be back,’’ he said.

Five-time World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer was among a host of big names missing from Charlesworth’s squad. 

Charlesworth said another consideration before omitting his big names was their involvement in the elite Hockey India League (HIL) which begins immediately after the World League. 

In all, 24 Kookaburras players will strut their stuff in the HIL.

‘‘I believe that this team can win it [the World League] although we are missing several players for a range of reasons,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s a load issue with some of the senior guys in particular, who, if selected, would then have eight weeks in India. The World League finals will give us an opportunity to look at some of those less experienced players.’’

Among those are Daniel Beale, White, Tyler Lovell and Aran Zalewski.

The World League finals features the world’s top eight teams.

The Kookaburras are in pool B with world No5 Belgium, Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands and No11 Argentina. 

Their campaign starts against Belgium on January 10.

The Hockeyroos made the recent women’s WL finals tournament decider recently in Argentina only to lose 5-1 to Olympic champs the Netherlands.

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